J.H. Cohn revenues up 12%

J.H. Cohn LLP announced a 12 percent increase in revenues for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006. Revenues increased to $144 million.

"This past year, we positioned ourselves to leverage all of the positive events in the marketplace, and our business has never been better at the firm," said chief executive Thomas J. Marino, in a statement. "The landscape in the accounting profession continued changing in our favor as significant midsized companies turned to a firm of our size due to our depth and breadth of services."

Marino characterized the firm's growth as being organic, growing out of J.H. Cohn's delivery of services to midsized companies.

Other highlights for the company included:

* Growth of its corporate governance services, with more than 125 professionals being involved with the practice;

* Continued development of an industry focus in the manufacturing, distribution, retailing, construction, SEC, health care, real estate, not-for-profit, entertainment, law firms and financial services arenas; and,

* The addition of 12 new partners.

J.H. Cohn ranked No. 18 on Accounting Today's 2006 list of Top 100 Firms.

Report: Restatements good SOX sign

The doubling of restatements by U.S. companies last year could signal that the changes made under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are having their intended impact.

Research firm Glass Lewis & Co., which works with money managers and other large investors, has issued a report titled "Getting It Wrong the First Time" that found that 1,195 companies (8.5 percent of all public companies) made restatements in 2005, compared with 613 the previous year.

In response to the call by some executives and Securities and Exchange Commission policymakers to relax SOX provisions, Glass Lewis writes, "We couldn't disagree more. It's precisely because of the heightened auditing standards ... that investors today are getting a true sense, finally, of just how much work remains to be done before they can feel confident about the accuracy of the financial statements."

The report also argues that smaller public companies are where strong internal controls are most needed. In noting that the smallest accounting firms that audit public companies restated at six times the rate of other companies, Glass Lewis suggested that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board increase its inspections of such firms. Other key findings in the paper, which is available at www.glasslewis.com:

* Grant Thornton had the highest auditor restatement rate, at 12 percent.

* KPMG has the highest Big Four auditor restatement rate, at 7.1 percent.

* "Stealth" restatements (accounting for 14 percent of all restatements) are on the rise, meaning restatements are filed without amended filings, 8-K filings or other announcements.

Rehmann unit unveils merger

Rehmann Financial, a unit of CPA and business advisory firm The Rehmann Group, has merged with financial services concern the Advisor Group Inc., of Troy, Mich.

Terms were not disclosed.

Gary Gilgen, former president of the Advisor Group Inc., was named senior financial advisor for the Troy office of The Rehmann Group. He brings 28 years of experience in the financial services industry. Both companies said that the merger would expand their client offerings to include estate and charitable wealth transfer and business succession planning, in addition to financial planning services.

The Rehmann Group ranked No. 42 on Accounting Today's 2006 list of Top 100 Firms, with annual revenues of $50.02 million.

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